Bruins beat Capitals, 3-2, in Game 3 thriller to take 2-1 series lead

The Boston Bruins take a 2-1 lead in the series over the Washington Capitals after Craig Smith nets the double-overtime winner.

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The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals hit the TD Garden ice for the first time in this series on Wednesday night. Before the game, the Capitals deemed Lars Eller and Craig Anderson out for Game 3. The Capitals instead went with Ilya Samsonov in net. Evgeny Kuznetsov also returned from Covid-19 protocol and played his first game of this series. The Bruins did not make any major changes within their lineup for Game 3.

The first period was a bit uneasy due to both the Bruins and Capitals having three penalties each. The Bruins had one scoring chance in the first twenty minutes of play compared to the Capitals two. Regardless of the lack of 5v5 play and scoring, there were plenty of post-whistle scrums and physical altercations to keep the fans engaged throughout the first.

Going into the second, Alex Ovechkin netted the first goal of the game 8:21 into the period on the power-play off of Brad Marchand’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Just 56 seconds later, Taylor Hall caught a puck out front from Craig Smith and did a gorgeous backhand to forehand move to roof the tying goal. Later in the period, with 1:45 left on the clock, David Pastrnak had a tough, high-zone turnover to Garnet Hathaway. Hathaway then ripped one on net and Nick Dowd was there to tip it to the back of the cage to put the Capitals up 2-1 late in the second.

The Bruins trailed one goal heading into the third. Deeper into the period, Nic Dowd took a bad high-sticking penalty on Charlie McAvoy with nine minutes left. Brad Marchand and the Bruins’ first power-play unit knew they had to pounce on the opportunity presented to them. After a series of smart puck movements in the offensive zone for the Bruins, Brad Marchand batted a puck out of the air to tie the game up, 2-2. Neither team could grab another before the horn sounded and just like Games 1 and 2, Game 3 went to overtime.

Going into the third overtime in three games, the Bruins came out flying and controlled the first two minutes of play. Going deeper into extra time, the play was back and forth, but the Bruins led scoring chances through the first ten minutes 9-2. At the end of the first overtime, The Bruins led the scoring chances 15-2 and high-danger scoring chances 3-1. The Bruins also led in shots on goal (41-34) and hits (58-55) by the end of the first overtime.

In double overtime, Craig Smith caught Samsonov lacking 5:48 into the period and finished the game with a quick wrap-around goal. The Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the series, winning Game 3, 3-2.

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 3, Capitals 2

SERIES: 2-1 BOS

HIGHLIGHTS:

In the first, Garnet Hathaway sent Charlie McAvoy into the middle of the benches. Tom Wilson had a few words during the sequence.

8:21 into the second, Ovechkin grabbed the first of the game on the power play created by Marchand’s unsportsmanlike penalty. Anthony Mantha’s hard forecheck set himself up to feed Ovechkin for a net-front tap-in.

Just 56 seconds later, Hall was blessed in the net-front by Craig Smith and did an incredible backhand to forehand pivot to roof the equalizer.

Deeper into the second, with 1:45 left on the board, Nic Dowd tipped Hathaway’s shot past Tuukka Rask to give the Capitals the lead going into the third.

Early in the third, Nick Ritchie sent Justin Schultz into the Bruins bench.

Later in the third, Dowd high-sticked McAvoy far behind the play. The Bruins went to the power play.

On that power-play, Boston capitalized when they needed to. Marchand batted the puck out of the air to the back of the cage to tie it up with 8:28 left in the third.

In the first overtime, there were plenty of big hits going around from both sides. One being Hathaway table-topping Marchand in the high slot.

Shortly after, Hathaway went to hit Marchand again and Marchand gave him a taste of his own medicine.

In double overtime, Smith finished this game off with a beautiful, quick wrap-around goal. He also went with the Super Man celebration after that one.

BRUINS POSTGAME REACTIONS:

Bruce Cassidy:









Craig Smith:









Tuukka Rask:









Taylor Hall:









GAME 4

Game 4 will take place on Friday, yet again at the TD Garden for a 6:30 p.m. ET start.